Bayer Leverkusen director and former Roma star Rudi Voeller is impressed by Europa League opponents Inter, but insists the Germans ‘can beat anyone in a one-off game.’
The quarter-final kicks off on Monday at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT).
“Everything is different in this format, as there are no fans, it’s a knockout round, so this feels like a Final,” Voeller told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“We must be realistic, we know Inter are a strong side and finished just one point off Juventus in Serie A. There is no comparison with Rangers, as the Nerazzurri have so much quality, a great coach in Antonio Conte, they concede very few goals and their strikers are so well-suited.
“Romelu Lukaku’s strength with the pace of Lautaro Martinez means they can hurt anyone on the counter. We know it’s going to be difficult for us to progress.
“If this was a traditional two-leg fixture, we’d have more problems, but we can beat anyone in a one-off game, as we’ve beaten Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund this season.
“Inter are the slight favourites and we respect them, but I think we’re on a relatively even footing. I watched their 2-0 win over Getafe and there were a few early chances for the Spaniards, but after going 1-0 up, I knew Inter would qualify.
“This is a team that is complete in every area and all their players really know how to play the ball. If Inter take the lead, it’s going to be extremely difficult for us to break them down, but we’ll see.”
Lukaku has been a revelation for Inter this season following his Manchester United exit.
“His goal against Getafe is a great representation of his game, as he is so difficult to defend against,” continued Voeller.
“He’s built like a brick wall. You can’t move him. He’s fast. He turns well and can shoot well with his left foot too.”
There have been many reports that Kai Havertz is already on his way to Chelsea, but Voeller insists that’s not entirely true.
“Of course he’ll play against Inter. I am old-fashioned, seasons end when the games do, and nobody is leaving before that. We know that a couple of clubs are interested, above all Chelsea, but he has two years left on his contract with us.
“So, it’s pretty simple. If someone wants Havertz, they have to meet our conditions, otherwise he’ll stay another year and we’re happy. It won’t be easy to keep him, but for an artist like Havertz, there is no Covid discount.
“He’s the best I’ve seen in Leverkusen and I’ve seen Emerson, Ballack, Ze Roberto, Kroos… He is above them.”
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